Espinho: Travel and tourism

The city of Espinho was founded by a group of fishermen from Furadouro, near Ovar, who began to seek its sea because sardines were more abundant, and ended by building their homes here in the beginning of the 19th century.

The quantity of fish available at the coastal zone contributed to settle the population but it was only in the 20th century that Espinho began to experience a real development and expansion, thanks to its fine beaches which started to be sought by bathers, namely after the arrival of the railway in 1870, who came to spend their holidays here to profit from «sea cures».

From this period, several typical «Summer bathing» houses may still be seen, exhibiting gay and colourful façades and long verandas.

The city is now a popular tourism resort and visited by thousands of holiday-makers, namely from Oporto and its environs, attracted not only by the sea and beaches but also because of its casino, one of Portugal's main gambling sites. Espinho also offers good conditions to play golf.

It is worth visiting the pretty Mother Church and strolling along the sea-side promenade with the fishermen's houses on one side and the beach and esplanades on the other, and at the end the Chapel of Our Lady of Assistance, patron saint of seafarers and fishermen, and the fish market.

Each monday, the city still preserves the traditional Espinho Fair with hundreds of stalls and improvised selling spots offering a little of everything, from handicrafts to agricultural products sold directly by farmers.

South of the city, the small village of Paramos maintains the charm of a typical fishing community.

Nearby, an ancient settlement, probably dating from the 2nd century BC, Castro d'Ovil, was discovered more than two decades ago and is now open to visitors.

In terms of gastronomy, Espinho does justice to its traditional connection to the sea and boasts of many restaurants serving excellent caldeirada (fresh fish stew) and shellfish.
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